Will the pay gap ever close? Absolutely! I believe it with every fiber of my being, even as we slog through the current political misogynist hell. With every step back, we make huge leaps forward. Through the lens of historical perspective, you see the bigger picture, the vision of what we will achieve. Here are the top 3 powerful reasons I believe the pay gap will be closed.
In 1840, Catherine Brewer Benson became the first woman to earn a bachelor’s degree. Surging forward to 1978, more women earned associate degrees than men; four years later, women earned the most bachelor’s degrees. By 1987, women earned the majority of master’s degrees, and in 2006, earned more doctor’s degrees. Women continue to outpace men in all degrees of higher education.
Education equates to earning power and opportunity. It’s important to point out that women still earn disproportionately less – 92 cents – for every dollar for men with the same career and college attainment. The good news is that the gap is closing, and as the trend of more women attaining college degrees continues, the gap will be squeezed to nihility.
Every day we see a growing cadre of corporate champions. Organizations such as Starbucks, PayPal, and Adobe are committed to internal cultural change and fostering a transparent environment of pay equity. These leaders are forever shifting the playing field, setting the standards that other companies must soon follow in order to compete for the best talent.
These employers are setting the bar for policies, programs, and benefits that support the foundation of equal opportunities, advancement, and pay. As with any change, the leaders will have the advantage. In this instance, it’s the ability to attract and recruit top candidates. This key advantage will spurn their competitors and other employers to take action, perform critical introspection, and adjust to meet the demands of the marketplace.
Each day, we are making progress towards an evolving cultural shift of parity; every incremental step moves us closer to breakthrough moments. We have seen this recently in the #MeToo movement and its continuing tidal wave of momentum to talk about our collective experience. We are raising our voices to openly talk about the demeaning situations and feelings of degradation. Forever stopping sexual harassment in the workplace is a huge leap for work equality. The conversation shines the light on the ugly unfairness forced upon working women.
Bringing unjustness into the open allows us to see it for what it is. It enables us to find the purpose we need to change. The actions needed to close the pay gap are happening right now. It’s palpable, and people are listening and recognizing the opportunity to grow and be our best selves. Women are directly impacting business and the government to implement the policies that will forever close the pay gap.
We are living in a historic time of great change. I believe we are ready to take another bound forward. In the recent past, Aretha Franklin moved us to “Respect.” Today, Katy Perry encourages us to “Roar” and Kelly Clarkson inspires us to be “Stronger.” Raise your voice and use your inner power to take that leap and forever seal the pay gap.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.